Medicine And The Media

Banking on interest

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 29 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:607
  1. Caroline White, freelance journalist
  1. London

    “Test Tube Dads” (Inside Story, BBC1, 25 August) attempted to tell the human stories behind some of the million babies who have been born worldwide as a result of donor insemination

    By her own admission, Afton Blake fell madly in love with Number 28's Nordic looks, his non-competitive sporting talent, and his career in computer science. But what really clinched it for her, was his bulging IQ and healthy bank deposit at the romantically named Repository for Germinal Choice in California—a giant freezer of seminal genius for the discerning mother to be.

    Afton sealed her union with Number 28 with a glinting syringe and a blaze of candlelight, and named her son Doron—Greek for gift and an anagram of donor. Now almost 16, Doron is one of a million children fathered by anonymous sperm donors since the second world war and part of a multimillion dollar industry. Amid the cradles of test tubes, fished out of billowing liquid nitrogen, and the huge canisters with their cargo of DNA in suspended animation, “Test Tube Dads” attempts to tell the human side of the story.

    And it's a complex …

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